Maitahi Outrigger Canoe Club hosted the waka ama event for the 2017 South Island Masters Games on a very wet, windy day at Tahunanui beach. Crews and paddlers from as far as Tauranga, Christchurch, Golden Bay and Waikawa took part. The Nelson Search & Rescue, Red Cross assisted Maitahi OCC members by bringing much needed shelter.
Unfortunately, the weather on the day was not suitable for novice paddlers to participate in races as there was a 1 – 2 m swell off the beach which made it unsafe. Courses and times were therefore “liquid” and even innovative “beach games” in lieu of paddling for the novices were undertaken.
The experienced crews paddled a modified course, from the beach, round Haulashore Island, back to the second buoy on the beach, around Haulashore again and home to the beach. There were 3 mixed crews. Whakatu won gold, Waikawa silver and Tauranga took home the bronze. They all came in beaming from ear to ear despite the conditions.
Participants and the curious were fed BBQ sausages with hot tea/coffee/milo by Red Cross and Search and Rescue. Medals were won and presented and laughs were shared despite the conditions.
Maitahi crews paddled 2 waka back to the marina in heavy rain after the event finished. The Search and Rescue novice crew, with the help of 3 experienced Maitahi members, paddled the third waka back. However, they got more than they bargained for and experienced a huli (capsize). They went into full rescue mode and were able to right the waka easily and paddle on back to the marina. It was quite an experience for them.
Its never too early or too late to start paddling waka ama
We always welcome new members to the Maitahi Outrigger Canoe Club.
We have social and racing waka ama crews catering for a wide variety of ages and abilities.